As a footballer it is essential to remember to develop yourself in areas other than on the pitch. Although this process can be daunting, it is important to consider what steps you can take to prepare yourself for life after football. Depending on your career aims, it might make sense to explore the option of making the step into Higher Education and starting a University course.

After spending time within a professional sporting environment, you may presume that you must continue your studies within sport. Be advised, there are countless different subjects that can be studied at University, do not limit yourself to this area, pursue your interests and talents because there will be a programme on offer to suit you if you take the time to research what is out there!

A few more questions to ask yourself when considering Higher Education.

Do you want to go into full time education?

A full-time degree is demanding but extremely rewarding. It takes a huge amount of focus and hard work to complete the programme but offers countless experiences. Not only do you expand your knowledge within your subject area with likeminded people, you will enjoy a vibrant social lifestyle and have access to many extra-curricular activities.

If you cannot commit to full time study, then do not worry, many Universities including the Open University, offer part time and distance learning pathways which allow you to study at your own pace and in your own time.

Both types of study will improve employability skills, helping you shape your future career.

How can I pay for the course?

University is very expensive, current tuition fees for full time University courses are around £9,250 per academic year although this may vary depending on the course and university. The costs of part time study will depend on the number of credits/modules being studies per year. The most popular way to fund a degree is to take out a student loan. Students will have access to a tuition loan and maintenance loan. The first will cover the costs of tuition and will be paid directly to the university, the second will be paid to the individual to help cover costs such as accommodation, equipment and day to day living.

Do I have the required qualifications?

Entry requirements for university vary depending on the course that is being applied for. Even if you do not hold the specific entry requirements there are alternatives available. Some courses offer foundation year degree programmes which are a year longer than standard programmes, but the entry requirements are reduced as you learn the content needed within the extended period. Alternatively, the Access to Higher Education Diploma can prepare students for study at degree level. These courses usually take around 1 year but can take longer and can be studied via distance learning.

Where do I start?

If the idea of university interests you, then UCAS should be your next stop. Here you can explore the different courses available, along with more information regarding the application process.

Useful Links

The Open University

Student Finance

LFE Higher Education Guide